I discovered P.O.S. through my favorite Minnesota underground hip hop act, Atmosphere, who headline the Rhymesayers Entertainment slate. P.O.S. really represents one of the coolest things about being a non-conformist. He’s totally and unabashedly out of left field. He actually reminds me of who Pharrell may actually be in a parallel universe. Before I get into this review, to get the best understanding of who P.O.S. is consider listening to the track Out of Category from his previous offering, Never Better where P.O.S. spits some honest lyrics about who he is and how he got there. With his latest, We Don’t Even Live Here, P.O.S. is completely in his zone as a pure punk-hip hop artist. The first track Bumper is a great opener for what’s to follow. It’s pumping bass drum and modulated synth riff get you banging you head off the bat.
Throughout P.O.S. flows with such intent that if he had any insecurity about his standing as an emcee you could never tell. He doesn’t. I haven’t heard such passion since Public Enemy though here it’s much less specific to the African American experience and more to the human condition. And even though his lyrics are generally serious and cover social/political issues, he manages to have fun with it (note his recurring chuckles). Fuck Your Stuff is the anthem for anti-materialism and ironically is the closet thing to commercial you’ll find here with its use of the old school tr-808 classic snare. The production on How We Land is top notch as Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon provides his signature melodic, enhanced vocals blending smoothly with Stef’s own clean vocals. One of my
As a musician P.O.S. exists between worlds in a sense because despite his talent as an MC, very few mainstream hip hop heads may ever give him a listen due to the punk overtones and the alternative fans may dismiss him because he’s a black rapper in a very different way than the visually bi-racial Slug. Nonetheless, P.O.S. has more than earned his place among some of the genre’s best MC’s despite his lack of airplay. He offers something new, honest and uncompromising. Either you can Get Down with him or you can’t but if you’re more mainstream, I’d suggest doing a YouTube search for his track Optimism for a way of taking some honey with your first dose of P.O.S. We Don’t Even Live Here is the product of a continually advancing rhyme style and elevated consciousness that puts and keeps P.O.S. truly out of category.